tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN August 10, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
happening now, breaking news. president trump not backing down from the promise of fire and fury if north korea fires missiles at guam. blaming obama, the path says his prez sdecessors left his --m saddled. i'll get an interview with susan rice. and the raid of a house of former campaign chairman may be a sign of things to come. and mitch slapped.
mr. trump unleashing new jabs at the top senate republican for his failure to get the hkt bill passed. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." >> breaking news tonight, president trump saying his tough talk is not a dare and his promise of fire and fury may not have gone far enough. he was talking to reporters before and after he was briefed by top officials at his golf resort in new jersey. he vowed to retaliate if he fired four ballistic missiles at guam. he left the door up for a p
premptive strike by the united states. the president also is publicly declaring that he has no plans to fire robert mueller as his russia investigation heats up. fbi said he was surprised the raid of the home of paul manafort. >> and pouring more feud on the top republican in the senate. he called mitch mcconnell's failure to get obama care repeals and replaced a disgrace. this after he posted multiple tweets slamming the majority leader and urging him to get back to work. this hour, i'll talk about the north korea situation with our
panelists. first, let's go to sarah murray who is covering the president in new jersey right now. we heard from the president not once but quite today as he facing escalating threats from north korea. >> that's right, wolf, in a rare and unexpected move, he took questions from the press today and he made clear he has no plans to tone down his rhetoric when it comes to north korea. >> i will tell you this, north korea better get their act together or they will be in trouble like few nations ever have been in trouble in this world, okay? >> as tensions escalate, president trump says it may time to up the ante. >> we'll see what he does with guam. if he does something, it will be an event to a level that no one has seen the likes of which.
it's not a dare, it's a statement. >> after this rhetoric earlier this week -- >> they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. >> today, trump says that statement may have been too timid. >> if anything, maybe that statement wasn't tough enough. what they have been doing and getting away with is a tragedy that can't be allowed. >> the president's comments coming as he met with vice president pence and h.r. mcmaster at his golf club. >> they have been threatening a strike near guam and hurling insults at the american president. >> he is disrespected our country greatly. he said things that are horrific. and with me, he is not getting away with it.
>> today, trump said he would consider diplomatic efforts but offered a pessimistic view of their odds of success. >> we will always consider negotiations, but they have been negotiating for 25 years. you look at bush and obama -- >> imploring china to step up their pressure on pyongyang. >> i think what noo can do more and i think they will. >> his secretary of state, rex tillerson, taking a different approach. offering reainsurances to the american people. >> i think the president has the capability to defend itself from the attack, and from allies, and we will do so. the american people should sleep well tonight. >> donald trump insisting his
administration is speaking with one voice. >> there is no mixed messages. >> i heard that, i mean to be honest, general mattis may have take tennessee a step beyond what i said. no mixed messages and rex was just saying -- >> now tensions have been rising not just between the u.s. and north korea, but the u.s. and russia. it was striking to see the different tone that the president took on these issues. while he was slamming kim jong un, he had only positive things to say today. >> president trump stands firmly for his promise of fire and furry, kim jong-un is also releasing newripley. we got a new statement from north korea, tell our viewers about that?
>> yes, it came out just before the president's latest press conference. they usually take about 24 hours to response if is still in response to the rhetoric. but this statement, north korean officials and is cites a number of them, vowing to merciously wipe out the provocateurs. saying that the u.s. will suffer a shameful defeat and final doom if it persists in it's most extreme military adventures. they would launch four missiles and put them down near guam.
now you have more rhetoric, and this is mosimilar to what we're used to hears. turning washington into a sea of fire. this is more trip kal rypical r but president trump upping the ante again. they're going to take his words and come up with a response. in the background, you have the region already a tense month here because of the regularly scheduled joint military exercises between south korea and the united states. these are not happening as a result of the latest escalation. these are something that the u.s. does on a military basis, and they're always angered, but given the climate right now, the
uncertainty about how the united states will respond, and what steps north korea will take, china and other countries are nervous and continuing to call for calm for both sides to stop the talk and the actions that will only escalate the dangerous situation on the korean peninsula. >> will ripley in beijing for us, thank you. if let's bring in barbara star. the president is not ruling anything out as of now. >> not ruling anything out, and if anything doubling down and then some. >> reporter: president trump not ruling out a pre-emptive straight against north korea.
he has been given updates options. the death toll, it war breaks out, could be horrific. >> there is acontingency. >> if kim jong-un moves first, a decision to shoot the missiles down will have to be made so fast it could come without president trump being consulted several u.s. officials tell cnn. once they fire, a shoot down decision must be made within minutes opinion for guam, the t.h.a.d. missile season will be the final layer of defense.
>> my sincere vote is that the testing that we have done to demonstrate that capability provides confidence to the residents of guam they're protected. >> but the next move is up to kim for the moment. president trump today apparently willing to set a new red line. vowing a u.s. response. >> it will be an event to the likes of which nobody has seen before what will happen, in north korea. it's not a dare, it's a statement. >> trump signals earlier in the day the fire and fury value against kim more than assistants. we're backed by 100, by our military. >> even if the state department talks diplomacy, james mattis says if the regime initiates a
conflict, the u.s. will destroy it. >> general mattis may have take tennessee a step beyond what i said. there are no mixed messages. >> u.s. military officials are preparing for tensions to ride in the coming days and scheduled days begins august 21st to test how well u.s. and korean troops can work together. >> and tonight, oust officials say for now, they do not see any evidence of an imminent north korean missile launch. >> thank you very much, barbara star. let's talk about all of this, the north korean crisis and more with susan rice. thank you very joining us. >> good to be with you, wolf.
>> he just said that if he does do something to guam, it will be an event to the likes of which no one has ever seen before. he said that's not a dare, it's a statement of fact. do you see that as a direct threat? >> wolf, we have to be careful, the rhetoric and hot language is itself a challenge. on the korean side, the north korean side, we run the risk that they fiscmi miscalculate t message from the u.s. incorrectly and act. who president trump said today is that if north korea was to attack the united states, we would respond with the full
force of our capabilities. that is common sense. what i worry about is this discussion and preparation potentially for what the administration called preventive war or preeven pre-emptive war. deterrents makes good sense nap is very essential for us to maintain and for us we don't take off of the table the threat of the use of force, but pre-emptive war, if one was thinking of executing that would be catastrophic for the korean peninsula, the over 200,000 americans that reside there, the 26 million people of seoul, and for the global economy, a direct confrontation with china and a conflict that could go to the extreme of being nuclear.
so a pre-ev pre-emptive attack a good idea. >> you wrote today in the "new york times" that you expect the kind of bluster that we're all hearing from north korea, but you added what is unprecedents is the reaction of president trump. explain what you mean. >> what i said in the article, wolf, is that whenever north korea faces tough sanctions from the united states, and i was part of negotiating several such sanctions solutions, this time
it is combined with the annual exercises. and they always get very insecure even more insecure in august. combine these two things what experts know to be predictably hot rhetoric. by when the president of the united states makes statements that could be mistaken for kim jong- jong-un's, it runs a risk of a threat. not an attack on the united states, which we need to be very clear about, but kim jon u.n. making another provocative statement or threat that is inevitable. we need today be very measured, careful, and planned in our rhetoric. i hope we will see more pressure out of the president as he
approaching this challenge. >> north korean officials said the u.s. would suffer a shapeful defeat and a final doom if it was to persist. do you think that the want war, how do you this? >> we heard many times before from north korea. it may be a little hyped pup. but no, i don't think they want war with the united states. i think kim i don't think u.n. knows if he started a war with the united states it would be the end of his regime and country. that message we need to reinforce as general mattis did, i think, effectively yesterday. on the other happened we need to be clear that we're not precipitating something. that we're not ourselves part of destabilizing the situation. >> but in addition to the rhetoric, the north koreans are
threatening to take specific military action. they said they would fly them toward guam and land 20 or to miles from the ghost of guam. the trump said if they made any more threats, they would face fire and fury like the world has never seen. do you feel that the president drew a red line. >> i'm not clear and i think the problem is no one is clear what the red shrine? is it a threat? action? missiles, flying in the direction of guam, or an attack on the united states, territories, or allies. i think we have to be very clear about what we're trying to deter and prevention. i think one of the challenges we faced in the last several days is the mar las been moved in both directions by the president
and his sports person. any attack on the united states are met with the most powerful response. >> so if the north koreans -- >> we cannot react, be can't react to every daytime or verbal provocation. >> what if they launch these four missiles into the waters just off of the coast of guam, what should the u.s. do then? >> i know our pentagon is preparing for that con ttingen -- contingency, but i have confidence that we have responses that are proportionate to the problem. >> what would a proportional response be ihypothetically?
>> that's the whole point, as a former official privy to this information, i don't think it's responsible of me to get into hypotheticals. but the american people need know that we have and continue to refine advanced missile defense capabilities that preekd our cape nlts and our homeland. and defend ourselves.o respond - >> you said she vicious, em pet chewous, but not irrational. >> he is a horrific hateful person that killed members of his own family and engaged in behavior that we all find absolutely intolerable, but he wants to survive.
his chief objective is his own personal survival and survival of the north korean regime. he has not, to date, taken actions that naught in jeopardy. an attack on the united states or allies, using make the lar weapons or massive conventional efforts provoke the type of respond from the united states that would weretufor sure be in regime's preference. we have the ability to manage this problem not only through sanctions, not only efforts to undermine the regime, and cooperation with china and others, but we have the ability to manage this through traditional deterrents. they should now if they attack
the united states or our allies, they face overwelling force. given the disproportionate strae between the united states and. for the eight years of the obama administration, diplomacy failed by all accounts, north korea may have 670 bo0 bombs. they may have miniaturized them to put them on intercontinental ballistic missiles that can reach the united states. >> we'll always consider negotiations, but they have been associating for 25 years. look at clinton. he folded. he was weak and ineffective.
obama didn't even want to talk about it. but i talk, it's about time, someone has to do it. >> you had eight years as the u.n. ambassador and then the u.n. national security advisor to president obama. you tried very hart to keep flim developing this nuclear threat. you have clearly failed, why? >> as you said in your question and your read up, this has been a very, very difficult problem that has now fexed four successive american administratio administrations. each tries not on i did lom si but -- the fact of the mat sere that despite all of those efforts, can the north korean regime has been able to succeed in their program both nuclear and missile. that's a very unfortunate
outcome. you can call it a failure, i accept that characterization over the last two decades. but we are where we are. and we now need to decide how to proceed. and what we're facing is a country with nuclear weapons and reportedly now, a capability to reach the united states with interconal ballistic missiles. one is war, which i argue is foolish and catastrophic. the other is to maintain and increase pressure on north korea, leave open a door for diplomacy. build up our missile defenses, and recognizing that we can, in all likelihood, safely rely on deterrents to prevent a catastrophic event unless wing
in carefully. i think we have a very serious national security challenge, i argue this immediate not be a crisis if we manage this carefully. i hope, but i frankly worry given some of the mixed messages coming out of the administration that we can manage this carefully and responsibly protecting the united states and our allies. containing the threat that north ye -- korea imposes. >> something from your article jumped out to me today. the same red line must apply to any proof that north korea transferred nuclear weapons to another state or nonstate actor. does that mean they might be selling nuclear bombs to other nations or terrorist organizations? in order to make money?
>> i'm not saying that has happened, i'm saying we are wasn't athrow so happen. up with is we have been discussed in some length is making sure north korea would never dare. they would suffer inkdefeat. the other side is that north korea is not foolish enough to try to proliferate their weapons to a third party. whether or not that is a state or nonstate actor. and so i don't want to suggest that is happened, i want to suggest we have been for many decades concerned about the proliferation potential, and we need to be sure that we are clear. >> the north koreans helped the syrians build their nuclear reacre that the israelis
eventually bombed, is that right? >> yes, you're right in recalling that. but that was not straps ftransf weapons, it was transfer of technology. your security clearance has just been renewed, i want your reaction to that. >> general mcmaster renewed the security clearances of all of his former advisors and living presidents nap is customary to do when a new administration comes in, and all of the prior ones have done the tame, i think it is really unfortunately an opportunity and a excuse for
those that are now quite unfairly, in my judgment, attacking general mcmaster to make an issue where there is not one. >> have you been in touch with him? >> i think i would rather not answer that. i think let us just say it is customary for sitting national security advisors, i know from my own experience twob. in touch with predecessors to understand what challenges and issues they wraetle ld with and what options they considered. >> thank you so much for joining us, deeply appreciate it. >> good to be with you again, take care. >> just ahead, president trump insists he is not plbluffing, b how does he enforce the new red lines he is laying down for kim jong un. >> if he does something in guam,
it will be an event to the likes of which no one as seen before what will happen? tlort koredegr north korea. is supposed to be live streaming the wedding and he's not getting any service. i missed, like, the whole thing. what? and i just got an unlimited plan. it's the right plan, wrong network. you see, verizon has the largest, most reliable 4g lte network in america. it's built to work better in cities. tell you what, just use mine. thanks. no problem. all right, let's go live. say hi to everybody who wasn't invited! (vo) when it really, really matters, you need the best network and the best unlimited. plus, get the pixel, by google for $5 a month. and in this swe see.veryday act, when we give, we receive. ♪
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he is getting a high level briefing at his golf resort in new jersey and talking at length to reporters. this has kim jong-un is releasing a statement of his own saying this will result in a shameless defeat of the u.s. and a final doom. >> he is not getting away with it. he got away with it for a long time. it's a whole new ball game. he will not be saying those things and certainly not doing those things. i read about where in guam, by august 15th, let's see what he does with guam. if he does something in guam, it will be an event to the likes of which no one has seen before.
you'll see and he will see. it's not a dare, it's a statement nothing to do with dare. it is not okay for him to go around and threaten guam, the united states, japan, south korea. that is not a dare, that is a statement of fact. >> what does that tell you? >> we were wrong. when we looked at the installation of a cabinet, you look at someone that is the head of exxon. the new chief of staff, if the president himself could manage to grow a temperament that was more presidential, with a circle of advisors that they would view assaying look, you can say whatever you want on the campaign trail, but you can
chill out. the in fact he is up there, including officials that i would regard high talented, he says those officials are not having the influence they expected. >> i don't think anyone knows where this is going. it is not helpful rhetoric. we have seen how with north korea it is a -- >> were you surprised when he made the fire and fury statement and that it wasn't tough enough? >> he is someone that doubles down. he does not deescalate. this is further proof of that. there are consequences. that's where some fights with lawmakers -- that's one thing, but these are real world, very
large, and millions of people involved here. it really is a -- i have to question why his advisors allow him to continue to do this and perhaps it's because they don't have any control. >> i want to play another clip for you, this is what the president said about past attempts to try to resolve this nuclear threat from north korea. >>. >> we always consider negotiations, but they have been negotiating for 25 years. clinton folded. you look at bush and obama, obama didn't even want to talk about it. but i talk, it's about time, someone has to do it. >> you heard susan rice, president obama's former national security advisor saying this was a failure of the obama administration. >> the failure of four administrations. in one way it is not so unusual.
just today, bill perry took a jab at bush when it came to their negotiations with north korea. the bush administration choosing to isolate it. what is unusual is to see a president seemingly under cut is own team and cabinet. nikki hailey today which should have been hailed as a win for him, and 15 countries both on sanctions, the u.n. againnorth . they say it probably won't result as anything. and you heard the president say listen, i'm talking but there is a difference between talking and being tough and coming across at provoking. so if there is a situation and things escalate with north korea, what will happen with our allies. do thaw accuse the united states
of provokes the situation. what happens if north korea decides not to shoot and fire at guam, but to test a nuclear missile. the president sort of boxing himself in right now instead of toning down the rhetoric. >> he seems to be drawing new red lines. >> i interviewed george schultz. when you're a republican you always go back to that time. now this interview took place about two months ago. he said when we had the reagan administration, we knew that words matters and if we said something it would matter. he went on to say if you draw a led line and you don't do anything when this is crossed, your words lose their meaning. i hope that donald trump dunk mean it. that could be a situation where
we have a unpredictable leader who very well might pull the trigger himself, and that he could be provoked by president trump. >> just ahead, we'll talk about the feud that developed into a tense situation that may be aggravated on mitch mcconnell's personal connection to the trump administration. >> we're very proud of our secretary of transportation. as you know, as you said, mitch's wife, she is doing a very good job. i'm very disappointed in mitch.
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breaking news for the russia investigation tonight. the son-in-law of the former campaign chairman paul manafort has been meeting with investigators. >> that's right, we learned that jeffrey yohi met with federal investigators in recent months. this is according to two people familiar with the matter. we're told he provided information and documents to investigators in new york, over two months ago. and we know, wolf, there are sources that the department of justice investigators have been seeking cooperation from him, from the son-in-law, hoping for more information in the
investigation related to paul manafort. all of the information that he provided to investigators is now in the hands of special couns counsellor robert mueller. has not asked for documents from manafort or a interview. they executed a no knock search warrant on his home in late july. they have also not been accused of any wrong doing. there is an investigation involving real estate deals with yohi and manafort. their lawyers declined to kme s comment. also manafort dropped their legal team and have hired people
fl familiar with tax investigation. >> thank you, pamela brown resportir reporting for us. >> mr. manafort, if i was him, empty the bank account and go to tijuana. he is concerned about money. number two you look at some of the lawyers that special consoler mueller brought on, enron people. they are worried about dirty money. one quick point on what we learned, that is the no knock issue that the president raised in his conversation today with the media. you have to understand the importance of this. this is not about the fbi, it's about going to a judge and saying "this is not an expediti expedition, we think he is involved in a crime." you can't go in someone's house
unless you think you have evidence. we're not going to his car, we're going into his out at 6:00 a.m. they didn't trust him to respond to a standard inquiry. >> the president asked about that that pre dawn no knock fbi search warrant that was implemented at his residence, listen to this. >> it was appropriate for the fbi to raid the home of paul manafort? >> i thought it was very, very strong signal of whatever. i know he -- i have not spoke ton him in a long time, he was with the campaign as you know for a very short period of time, but i have always known him as a good man. i thought it was a very, you know, they do that very seldom. so i was surprised to see it.
i was very, very surprised to see it. we have not really been involved. >> were you surprised the president even reacted to this? normally in an investigation like that. an fbi investigation, the president or someone else would say there is an investigation going on, i'm not going to come. >> he would have been wise to say nothing, right? he continues on, and what he says is i know paulmanafort, he was in the campaign for a very short period of time. we know a con vens vention in cleveland, ohio would not have occurred if it was not for him. so i think he was a little more significant than what he said. >> and the president following his briefing with his national security advisors is when he was asked to react to russia's decision to expel 750 american
diplomats and those that work in american assemblies and we have not heard any presidential reaction so far. i want to listen to how the president responded. >> no, i want to thank him, we're cutting down on if you want to argue and say that the president was trolling vladimir putin, that would have been a smart troll if we didn't have the history between these two men that we currently do. we have a president at the united states that just today insulted mitch mcconnell.
and yet they cannot say anything negative about vladimir putin. i'm not saying he has to do to def con one here, but in the process of saying thank you to vladimir putin, he insulted hundreds of american civil servants that work in russia, and russians who work at the u.s. embassy as well. i'm not saying this should have escalated, but his choice of words is shocking. >> he also said something different this time. you heard him say there was no collusion between his campaign and the russians. if anything the russians were spending money to defeat him because they feared what he would do if he was president of the united states. >> we have not seen any indications of that. we saw that vladimir putin was trying to under mine hillary clinton's campaign. you can say that, but there is no proof to it. it has not stopped him in the
past. they want to desperately change this conversation from this collusion to -- from the collusion idea, and we have seen that many, many times. >> he was reluctant to criticize putin but not the top republican in the u.s. senate, mitch mcconnell. >> yeah, no restraint there, and apparently they had a conversation that was very animated. angering someone in charge of pushing your agenda through the senate, and who you're going to need no matter what, is not really a good play for the president. we have seen him hurt himself. he insulted lisa murkowski. he really turned them off. they are not inclined to hem them and put themselves in jeopardy. why would you do that for someone trying to believe you. >> if you want a friend in washington, get a dog is a famous saying, you want your
friend to be the majority and the house speaker. donald trump has done nothing to get them to work with him and go the extra mile. they have so far, but going forward, i can't imagine what they're going to do much more than what they're expected to do. >> we'll have much more on the breaking news, have to take a quick break, we'll be right back. for your heart... your joints... or your digestion... so why wouldn't you take something for the most important part of you... your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is now the number one selling brain health supplement in drug stores nationwide.
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they are intermediate range. what is important to note is that like true an tonight we ha new and important information from missile experts as to how these missiles might work if they're fired toward guam. >> if four missiles were launched from north korea in the direction of guam, analysts say it could be the first real world test of america's missile defenses. >> i think we'd really probably have no choice but to try to
shoot them down, and then i guess we find out if the systems work. >> north korea outlined a plan to happened four intermediate range missiles within 18 to 25 miles of the island. but even if a demonstration was intended to be harmless, there are still risks. >> these missiles are so inaccurate thoo they could inadvertently hit the island or land very close to the island and then again that would likely he list it a response from the united states that could escalate into a larger conflict that would be devastating for the region. >> we've dared them to prove the accuracy of their missiles, and i think splashing four missiles down kind of bracketing guam is a good way for them to demonstrate that they do have the capability to aim their missiles. >> and even if the missiles don't hit land, thejd still pose a problem for the u.s. >> it might be difficult for the united states to shoot down all of the missiles. and that could expose to north korea that u.s. missile defense, you know, is not iron clad. >> more specifically, what she's talking about is that there are
thaad missile defense systems on guam. there could be ship-based missile defense systems on navy ships patrolling around guam. but thighs are not so reliable. wolf, there's no garn teen they would work, especially to shoot down four missiles at a time. >> very tough situation. brian todd thanks very much. that's it for me. erin burn net outfront starts right now. >> breaking news, the war of words with north korea escalating. president trump be doubling down on fire and fury tonight, not ruling out a preemptive strike. plus, trump speaking out on the russia investigation and whether he plans to fire robert mueller. and going after the most powerful person in the senate mitch mcconnell, why trump is very disappointed in the senate majority leader and may want him gone. let's go outfront. good evening. i'm erin burnett. outfront this evening the breaking news. president trump doubling down in a lengthy and undiscriminated press kerchs. the president taking question after question, escalating his extraordinary war of words